Reputed wife of dead dredge owner testifies

first_imgAn emotional Onica Butts took to the stand on Friday at the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI), where she recounted the trauma she and her children felt following the death of her reputed husband, Dax Arokium.Former Attorney General, Anil NandallArokium was a third-year student at the University of Guyana (UG) pursuing engineering and the owner of the mining dredge at Lindo Creek, where eight miners were killed on June 21, 2008.Butts recollected seeing Arokium on June 6, 2008, at her parent’s home, when he was preparing to travel to Lindo Creek. At that time, she was four months pregnant with their son. The couple had a three-year-old daughter at the time.Butts said she last communicated with Arokium on the day he arrived at Kwakwani, as he awaited transportation into Lindo Creek and received the news on June 21, 2018, of his and his co-workers’ deaths. She said she did not believe the reports and further explained that due to the state of her pregnancy, Arokium’s family decided to withhold the details of his death and what transpired at the mining camp, from her.She said that no one from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) contacted her and following months of receiving very little information regarding her reputed husband’s death, she made the decision to visit the then Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee to seek answers.Freddie KissoonThe family held a memorial service on June 28, 2008.It was years later that the Lyken Funeral Parlour provided the family with information as to where Arokium was buried, after which they visited the location, she said.After the birth of her son, Butts said the family was exposed to counselling. However, she pointed out the fact that the re-opening of the case has negatively impacted her son’s studies.Meanwhile, Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, in an invited comment, told this newspaper that on Phagwah day, as he was powdering Justice Donald Trotman and exchanging Holi pleasantries, he used the occasion to respectfully caution him not to allow his Inquiry into the Lindo Creek Massacre to become a pantomime.“My attention was to a news report which suggests that Freddie Kissoon appeared before the Commission. Every intelligent Guyanese is aware of Kissoon’s morbid obsession with the PPP and more particularly, Bharrat Jagdeo. But someone needs to tell Freddie Kissoon that for his own credibility, his rantings on the PPP and Jagdeo, must suffer reasonable restraint. Unfortunately, on this occasion the burden is mine to bell the cat.”Kissoon in his testimony on Friday, told the Commission that in “his journalistic investigations revealed that it was geographically impossible for the notorious Fine Man gang to murder the eight miners at Lindo Creek, in June 2008.”Nandlall said that this testimony raised a few questions for him.“1) Why Freddie Kissoon never disclosed this to the police when the incident occurred? 2) Why Freddie Kissoon refuses to disclose the details of this “journalistic investigation”? 3)Why does Freddie Kissoon not explain what information he received from this “journalistic investigation” and from what source, that made it “geographically impossible for the notorious Fine Man gang to murder the eight miners at Lindo Creek in June 2008”? 4)Why does Freddie Kissoon not explain who his sources are who supplied him information that “the security forces and the then PPP government had great involvement in what transpired at Lindo Creek 10 years ago”? 5)Why does Freddie Kissoon not reveal the identity of the alleged person whom he claims informed President Bharrat Jagdeo of the whereabouts of the gunmen?He added that unless these questions are answered, this remains another quest by Kissoon in his perennial search for relevance and importance in our society.“I can appear before that Commission tomorrow with a story that is 10 times more convincing than Freddie Kissoon, replete with a pretension of knowledge of what transpired and prevent any testing of my fabrication by the utilization of concepts such as “lawyer-client” privilege etc. Would the Commission accept my testimony as credible? Freddie must think that he lives in an extraordinarily stupid society, to believe that he can pull off such asinine stunt,” Nandlall declared.last_img read more